small business guide 2015

Shake Social give their winning

social media tips...

Social Media works

Social media is a tool that really enables small

business to achieve BIG results. It drives

visitors online and off, generates sales, and

can create brand buzz around your product or

service. It could be HUGE for your business – if

you do it right.

Social media is here to stay. Blogging,

tweeting, friend requests and videos are the

lexicon of the modern world. Twitter and

Instagram have more than 500 million users

between them. Facebook has over a billion

users. YouTube is the second largest search

engine in the world and a blog is now the

central hub for all your news.

All these web concepts have a single important

element in common: they are all two way streets

when it comes to communication. People are

already talking about your business, it’s just

a question of whether you’re involved in the


We’ve teamed up with the social media experts

at Shake Social to put together this handy

guide for small businesses who want to get the

most out of social media throughout the year.

Here to help you make sense of it with some

easy tips that will win you business. Companies

across the UK who use social media well are

thriving. Small Business Saturday gives you

the perfect opportunity to get involved and

get ahead.

When you want to connect with customers

the best networks to start with are Facebook,

Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram–

but you could be using LinkedIn, Snapchat

and Google+ as well.

putting the customer first

Social media is, of course, social! It’s not a

selling tool. It’s a relationships tool. The more

people you use it to listen to, engage with and

share stories amongst, the bigger your brand

buzz will be. The sales will come, but only if

you put the customer first.

Some questions to ask yourself:

• Who is my typical customer?

• Where do they spend time online?

• What are my customers interested in?

• What can I do to make my customers


• When was the last time I said thank you to

them for choosing me?

• How can I make them feel special and


be shareworthy

In a social world there are always two


Your initial audience (your followers and fans)

The ultimate audience (their followers and

fans, and their followers and fans, and their

followers and fans, and ... you get the picture!)

The only way you’ll reach the ultimate audience

(and grow your initial audience) is by creating

something that other people want to share.

What was the last thing you shared, repinned

or retweeted online?

was it...

• entertaining?

• shocking?

• personal?

• enlightening?

• valuable?


powerful for

any business...

Across the networks

There are some things you can do to boost

your profile throughout the year, regardless

of which social networks you choose to use.

• Share pictures and stories from your

customers that illustrate how you have

made life easier or solved a problem for


• Showcase different members of staff

each month with a picture and a profile

explaining why small businesses are

important to them.

• Tell customers about the other small

businesses that you use and why you use

them. Promote each other.

• Ask your customers or clients the same

question and ask if you can record their

answers into a short, shareable video.

• List 25 reasons why your small business is

so special. Share a different reason each

fortnight- try to make them visual.

• Photograph, film or write about a typical

day in your business. Can you make it

personal or entertaining?

• Do some research. Talk to your customers.

Ask them what social networks they use,

what brands they follow and what they’d

like to see from you. Be responsive.

• Respond to customer queries and

comments through social media. People

really appreciate the personal touch, and

engaging personally with your shoppers

is something that can really set you apart

from big business.


Facebook is an incredible database. With

over 1.3 billion users it is phenomenally

powerful for any business and a cost

effective tool for small businesses


The following tips will help you get even

more out of it:

• Highlight a different product or service

each week by changing your cover


• Use localised Facebook adverts to

target customers and potential clients

with special offers or promotions.

• Have a “Customer of the Week” and say

thank you to them for choosing you. If

you can take a photo of them and offer

them 10% off or a free cup of coffee etc

– even better!

• Run a competition and encourage people

to tag a friend. It can’t be a condition of

entry though (check Facebook’s T&Cs)!

• Invest in a small white board and interact

with your customers, asking them to

write a comment about your business

and pose for a photo. Share the images

on your Facebook page.

• Ask questions: get people talking about

why they use small businesses and

what they like about them.

• Set up a Facebook group with other

small business owners on your street or

in your area. Use it to share ideas for

ways of working together and helping to

promote each other.



Twitter is a real-time information network

that connects you to the latest stories,

ideas, opinions and news. Try some of the

following ideas to reach even more people:

• Use #smallbizsatuk to join in the ongoing

conversation about Small Business

Saturday. It’s a popular hashtag with a

lot of people looking at it – that means

more impressions and even more people

seeing your brand name and logo.

• Tag @smallbizsatuk in a tweet so they

have the chance to retweet you to all

their followers too.

• Showcase your products or services by

sharing a different product or service

each week in your tweets.

• Take advantage of your local networking

hour each week on Twitter to tweet with

other small business owners in your

area. Get started with #SmallBizHour

• Include the name of your town or area

as a hashtag in your tweets to make

sure locals see it.

• Consider using promoted tweets to

share offers with even more people in

your local area.

• Share photos and videos when you can

to make it visual and engaging.

• Tweet tips and advice that your

customers will find helpful. You want

them to look forward to your tweets.

• Read what other tweeters are saying in

your area. Respond, retweet and reply

where you can.

• Run an ‘ask the expert’ hour where you’ll

answer any questions people tweet if

they use the right hashtag.

Creating and sharing valuable video content

that’s relevant to your ideal customer is one

of the most effective strategies you can use.

And these days, you can do it all on your


• Remember to K.I.S.S. – Keep It Short &

Simple. Ideally, you want to be sharing

video that’s 90 seconds or less.

• Make it your mission to ask one customer

each week to say on film why they chose

to spend money with you.

• Think of different random things you

can do to delight your customers, from

giving them an extra helping to carrying

their goods to their car. Record people’s

reactions (but always ask for permission to


• Film a typical work day in your business

and share snippets.

• Record some of the ways you can use

your products, from handy How To Guides

to suggestions and tips.

• Share your videos on the other social

networks as well as YouTube.

• Don’t forget to add the key words you’d

like to be found for when people search

as you add the descriptions etc to your

video at the time of uploading.





Interested in a social network that will make

your business visual and doesn’t need to be

updated as often? Look no further! Pinterest

gives you some great opportunities to shine


• Create a community board about your

local area and invite neighbouring business

owners to pin on it as well.

• Don’t forget to use important keywords in

your description – but make it appealing


• Follow the Small Business Saturday

Boards on Pinterest for them to follow you

back and support each other.

• Do you blog? Make sure you pin your blog

posts to Pinterest too. Great for web traffic!

• Perks don’t hurt. 61% of consumers use

social to look for discounts. Try setting up

a specials board where you share regular

offers and discounts to your fellow pinners.

• Ask on Facebook and Twitter if your

followers are on Pinterest as well and

encourage them to share their Pinterest

handle with you. Don’t forget to tell them

yours too!

• Create a board all about your customers

with pictures, inspiring quotes and some

of their favourite purchases.


Instagram is another network that lets you

build a visual presence. Its focus is on original,

‘authentic’ real-life photos, which means you

don’t have to be a professional photographer

to make an impression:

• Take attractive photos of your products

and show followers exactly what you’re


• Choose 3 or 4 filters that are in keeping

with your brand and stick to them.

• Show your business at its most dynamic

with some snaps of you and your staff in


• Share your ‘behind the scenes’ photos—

everyone loves an exclusive, and you get

to show off more of your business.

• Encourage engagement with ‘caption this

photo’ contests. Offering prizes for the

winner is a great incentive for people to


• Tag your photos with the relevant keywords

to tap into discussions. Hashtags are

a great way of getting your business

involved with trending topics— like, say,


• Don’t forget video! Short clips can really

help to make your profile more engaging,

but don’t make them too long— people

have short attention spans.

• Share your Instagram selectively to your

other social media profiles as well. It’s a

great way of making some of your other

profiles more visual, with no extra time

investment from you!


Blogs are a great way of shouting about who

you are and what you do. It’s a showcase

for your news, opinions and expertise. Links

and tweets to your blog are great for keeping

your social media profiles active, and the

blog itself gives people a reason to visit your

website time and again.

• ‘Top tips’ and ‘mistakes to avoid’ posts are

popular on blogs— giving useful advice

that people can trust is great for building

relationships. Blog readers who trust

your expertise are more likely to become


• Identifying individual authors on your blog

is a good way for potential customers

to see the faces behind your business.

The personal touch can really help small

businesses stand out!

• Post your opinions on news stories, or link

what you do to current events, to show

customers that you’re up to date with

developments in your industry.

• You don’t have to limit your blog to talking

about your industry or the products you

sell— you can blog about all kinds of

related issues to give your brand a wider

reach and broader appeal.

• Writing about company milestones, like

new employees or anniversaries, can be

a good way of getting your customers

invested in your business.

• Strike a balance with your content—most

readers don’t want to read endless selfpromotion,

so make sure that most of

your posts have some practical use or are

relevant to your readers’ lives.

and finally...

Small Business Saturday is more than just

one day of the year. It’s about valuing,

promoting and using small businesses all

year round. Hopefully this guide will give

you ideas for ways to encourage people to

interact with you and – ultimately – become

clients or customers. Small businesses are

the backbone of the British economy and

social media is such a powerful way of

promoting what you do. Don’t miss out!

Check out our website and our Facebook

page for the latest news and suggestions.

Connect on Twitter too!





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These Social Media tips were provided by Shake Social

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